‘Love and inclusion.’ Beloved Ky. sign language interpreter in Beshear briefings has died

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American Sign Language interpreter Virginia Moore, who became a beloved figure to Kentuckians during Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily COVID briefings, died Saturday, Beshear said.

“I have some heartbreaking news to share,” Beshear said on Twitter. “Virginia Moore, the Kentuckian who taught us all the importance of leading with love and inclusion, passed away yesterday.”

“Virginia was a rock of stability and grace during the pandemic. She helped bring us all together in our most challenging times, so I hope you’ll join Britainy and me today in praying for all who loved her,” Beshear said.

Beshear referenced a phrase he often used during the briefings and that she interpreted.

“I will miss her greatly, but as Virginia would remind us in our grief: We will get through this; we will get through this together,” he said.

Beshear did not include in his statement a cause of death.

Moore recovered from uterine cancer in 2020.

She was director of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which issued this statement:

“With deepest regret, the KCDHH Board and Staff must announce the passing of our beloved Executive Director, Virginia Moore. Our hearts are broken, and we will forever feel her absence.”

The commission said memorial services are pending. It noted that memorial donations can be made in her name to KSD Jacob’s Hall Museum or to the Knowledge Center on Deafness.

Jacobs Hall Museum: Kentucky School for the Deaf, 303 S. 2nd St., Danville, KY 40422.

Knowledge Center on Deafness: P.O. BOX 618, Frankfort, KY 40602

Hundreds of people reacted to Moore’s death on social media.

“I am saddened to learn about the death of my friend, Virginia Moore, whom I have known for many years,” said Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon. “She was passionate about her work and its impact on those she helped. “

Frankfort City Commissioner Katrisha Waldridge said, “RIP Virginia Moore. Kentuckians will miss you dearly. Your drive for inclusivity, love and passion for ALL KENTUCKIANS DAILY was seen and heartfelt.”